Barnstable County Inmates Make Gardeners' Shed Ship Shape

Refurbished and painted shed for Sandwich's community gardens...
A Sheriff's inmate works on the shed at the Sandwich community gardens at the former Roberti Farm. (Courtesy of Sheriff Cummings)

Inmates dispatched by Barnstable County Sheriff Jim Cummings spent two afternoons this week refurbishing and painting a shed for Sandwich residents who use it to store supplies for community flower and vegetable gardens.  The 24-plot grid is located at what used to be known as Roberti Farm, a spot tucked away on a parcel of land that runs between Tupper Road and Route 6A. 

The five-man inmate crew and BCSO Deputy Sheriff  worked to makeover the shed during consecutive weekday afternoons of 100+ degree heat indices.  “Hot for sure,” understated Deputy Jeff Wiseman, amid plots of thirsty marigolds, vine-ripening tomatoes, and  a smorgasbord of other native plantings.

Patricia McKean, who heads up the garden committee that operates the site, is delighted with how the transition has gone from an earlier town site on Jan Sebastian Way:  “If you could have seen it in April and see it now, you’d be amazed.”  Last week, selectmen were treated to a pre-meeting barbeque at the site, a meal that included salad and zucchini bread ingredients straight from the gardens.

Some $1.86 million worth of inmate labor has been expended on municipal and non-profit projects over the past three years, an annual average of $619,000.


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